10.04: Tops + Dominique Lejeune + DeftJams – One Eyed Jacks
10.05: Merchandise + Glish + Loveless – The Big Top
10.06: Chef Menteur + Whom Do You Work For? – The Circle Bar
10.07: Habitat + Woozy + Gnarwhal – The Big Top
10.08: Bombay Bicycle Club + Vacationeer + Sports & Leisure – House Of Blues
10.09: Bipolaroid + Trampoline Team + Holy Wave + DJ 9ris 9ris – SIBERIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We’re not going to lie, when City Hall started their inexplicable war against a few of the city’s most quintessential live music venues, we did not think it was going to last very long. And for some, it didn’t. Circle Bar had to cancel barely a week of shows before they navigated the draconian hoops of jargon and bullshit that beset the path to legitimacy on all sides. But for whatever reason, Siberia – the young St. Claude rock club that shattered all land speed records during it meteoric rise to venerability – was left out in the cold for nearly three months.
Though one of the most consistently impressive musical operations in the city and a club that has operated for two nearly-complaint free years just steps away two other music clubs, Siberia had to completely clear its schedule, canceling on the dozens of local musicians and nationally touring bands it had on the books. The slowdown forced them to lay off half their staff, and even when the place seemed to catch a break, it didn’t really catch a break. Hurricane Isaac delayed their long-awaited hearing in front of the New Orleans City Planning Commission, and as a conciliation they were granted a handful of temporary live music permits – at the effectively cost-prohibitive price of roughly $300 per night of music.
But the pointless aggression has at least been put on hiatus, as last week Siberia was mercifully allowed to resume all live entertainment while the city reviews their permit application. Local psychedelic garage rockers Bipolaroid – who spent the better part of the live music crackdown working on their upcoming forth album – have the distinct honor of welcoming Siberia back to the fold. They will be joined by Austin’s Holy Wave and local newcomers Trampoline Team.
10.10: River City Extention + Winter Sounds – Circle Bar
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks
09.27: The Soft Pack + Heavy Hawaii + KG Accidental – One Eyed Jacks
09.28: Rotary Downs + King Rey – Prytania Bar
09.29: Glish + The Beams + Native America + L.F. Knighton – Circle Bar
On some oblique level, the Beams may be the purest example in New Orleans of what it means to be a band. Though boasting, through its members, a pedigree that links it to several of the most well-known and meaningful local rock acts of the last fifteen years, this bristly four-piece power pop act seems to perpetually exist as a fringe presence or a phantom of indie rock past. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: the less time the Beams spend striving for relevancy in a culture that demands overt self-promotion and subtle competition, the more opportunities they find to offer opening support for the young artists who are actively seeking mainstream acclaim, and thus act as a model of hard work and passion where there would otherwise be none.
At their core the Beams are – simply put – an always pleasant, often loud, occasionally mind-blowing concoction of jangled guitars, heartbreak melodies and charmingly unrefined vocal harmonies. Yet there is always something even more unique about this act bubbling just below its forthright surface. Indeed, most Beams live shows tend to carry with them elements of both isolationism and confederation. Almost as often as the band can be found doing one-off afternoon bar shows and record store appearances completely by themselves, they can be found comfortably on a bill next to literally any band in the city that uses a guitar.
This Saturday night is no exception, as the Beams stop into Circle Bar to lend a hand to space rock shoegazers Glish, who will be celebrating the release of their second EP, Come Down. Fuzzcore act Native America and Mobile, Alabama-based rock and roll band L.F. Knighton also perform.
09.30: Heat Dust + Donovan Wolfington + Isidro
10.01: King Louie’s Missing Monuments + Cyclops + White Mystery – Circle Bar
10.03: Dinosaur Jr. + Shearwater – Tipitina’s
09.20: Babes + Prom Date + Benjamin Booker – The Big Top
09.21: Big Rock Candy Mountain + Bantam Foxes – Circle Bar
Since they first bust on the local scene with their 2009 debut EP Hey Kid, the New Orleans music community has rarely agreed about anything the way we’ve agreed about Big Rock Candy Mountain. Rising from the ashes of nearly a half-dozen bands spanning nearly every sub-genre of the city’s storied but then-still-nascent independent scene, BRCM’s hyper-modern perversion of classic alternative tropes made them early and obvious torch-bearers of local rock’s next iteration. As a band’s band with an inspiring and wide appeal, they have remained in every noteworthy discussion and on every short list worth its salt, even as their most recent studio gestation period resulted in a lengthy stretch of live inactivity.
Nevertheless, whenever we hear from Big Rock Candy Mountain, they easily demonstrate why they have been held in such universally high-esteem. A high-powered mix of dazzling synth work, face-melting guitar solos and a brain crushing rhythm section explode in a live setting as a barrage of space-age freakouts and ethereal prog-pop interludes, offering something about as close to the platonic ideal of “awesome local indie band” as you are likely to find for miles.
But the sparse live schedule hasn’t been for naught: when lead man Michael Girardot was not on the road with emerging national superstars The Revivalists or in the studio with greatest band in the universe Rotary Downs, the Big Rock gentlemen have been writing and recording their own full length album. They storm back to the stage on Friday with a complete set of new songs in the can and an extra long set to both debut them all and dig into their canon of old favorites. Local rock and roll trio Bantam Foxes open.
09.22: Sun Hotel + Habitat + Young Jesus + Native America – 3712 Upperline
09.23: Caddywhompus + Sun Dog + All People – The Big Top
09.24: Eternal Summers + Bleeding Rainbow – Circle Bar
09.25: Mac DeMarco + Michael Girardot’s Macrofuns + Julie Odell – Circle Bar
09.26: G-Eazy + Hoodie Allen – House Of Blues
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks
By now, most of us are aware of City Hall’s latest attack in their sneaky and unpredictable War on Culture. A few weeks ago venerable Bywater institution Siberia ran into some permitting issues that caused them to suspend their expansive live music schedule, and just yesterday it appears a similar fate officially befell the similarly venerable Circle Bar. (And in a week fraught with confusion and misinformation, the Gambit’s Alex Woodward – as he is consistently wont to do – once again came through with the most complete, accurate and thoughtful assessment of a local happening.)
The initial reaction has been to wholeheartedly support the venues involved in the fight. To be sure, this is 100% the correct stance to take. Siberia and Circle Bar are still open for business, and while they find out exactly what the city is asking of them and try to respond accordingly given their modest resources, we should all make a concerted effort to see what they look like by day. Drop in for happy hour or while away a late weekend afternoon sampling their draft beer selections and feeding the jukebox – basically find any excuse you can to give them some business.
But that is only part of the equation. If you want to help – if you truly want to do right by the independent music scene to which you are pledging your support via online petitions and Facebook groups and social media status updates – go to a DIY show this weekend. Visit one of the myriad venues that is still hosting live entertainment; buy some merch from a struggling local artist, drink your ass off and generously tip your bartender, shake someone’s hand – the bar owner, the promoter, the sweaty bassist of college punk band – and say just how much you appreciate what he or she is doing to foster a diverse local music scene. Put your money but more importantly, your time, where your mouth is.
Like the bullshit proposed ordinance that sought to put an end to 18+ shows, we think this, too, shall pass. So the real question is not whether you take some cursory, symblic action when local independent music’s constant, inherent struggle is bestowed the honor of being the momentary cause célèbre of the city’s cultural frontrunners, but what you do every day to support the people and places that make the New Orleans music scene – and by proxy, the city as a whole – so amazing.
Get your ass out there and go see some live music.
Glish + Dead Mellotron + Troubadour Dali performing at the Circle Bar on June 16, 2012
Though the subversives behind local b-movie film aficionado group Terror Optics Studios and its off-shoot horrorcore label Sheer Terror Records aren’t the type one would expect to hear bragging about, or even taking serious notice of, any measure of success, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the ultra-DIY punk festival known as Creepy Fest has been steadily growing under the radar of even the city’s most attentive music junkies. In it’s fourth year, the citywide festival catering to all things jagged, aggressive, terrifying and downright adrenal seems to be not just ballooning in size but also widening in geographical scope, the result of bands as well as venues eager to take part in what is arguably the most community-minded festival experience in New Orleans.
Broken up over five nights and seven venues, Creepy Fest 2012 will boast roughly 40 acts hailng from the Louisiana/Gulf Coast area. Once again taking up the job as festival kickoff headliners, raucous instrumental surf trio the Unnaturals will perform along side a b-movie double feature at the Big Top Wednesday night, while Thursday finds hardcore surf band the Bills and self-proclaimed “lazy punk” act the Poots at the Saturn Bar. Friday’s free double header has Checkpoint Charlie’s hosting the likes of horror punk heroes the Pallbearers and ultra-rad hardcore parody Dummy Dumpster; meanwhile, the Dragon’s Den, one of several new venue entries since last year, has aggressive rockers Fat Camp and noise band Interior Decorating. Saturday, boasting a slightly higher-priced package of $10 for both shows, brings neighbor venues Siberia and Hi-Ho Lounge into the mix with New Jersey-based early 90s punk rock legends Electric Frankenstein and local skate thrashers Toxic Rott. Finishing up the lengthy festival on Sunday, not-so-recently reopened Circle Bar welcomes a stacked lineup that includes locals the Split () Lips and Classhole as well as Mobile, Alabama power pop quartet the Suzies.
With a price tag of $5 per show, save for Free Friday and $10 Saturday (or $25 for the entire weekend), the entrance fee to this massive and expansive underground festival is as reasonable as they get.
Creepy Fest 2012 Schedule
Caddywhompus + The Icarus Line + SS Boombox performing at Circle Bar on June 18, 2012